Manitoba

St. Norbert Farmers' Market fiddles with opening weekend

Manitoba's largest farmers market is set to open for the season and it's going to be a jam-packed event.

110 vendors are expected to be there Saturday but as the season goes on, that number will grow to 130

Some 130 vendors are expected to be part of the market during its peak days. (Christelle Dorn-Thierry/Radio-Canada)

Manitoba's largest farmers market is set to open for the season and it's going to be a jam-packed event.

"We're celebrating with lots of fiddle fun, including a fiddle jam, fiddle music, and dancing to fiddling," said Marilyn Firth, executive director of the St. Norbert's Farmers' Market, which kicks off its 29th year on Saturday.

"If you like to play the fiddle, bring it on down and you can be part of our fiddle jam."

The St. Norbert Farmers' Market, a favourite destination for Manitobans during the summer months since it first opened in 1988, features produce, meat and many other products and foods from local producers. (CBC/Karen Pauls)

The opening day schedule looks like this:

  • 8 a.m. — Outdoor market opens for the 2017 season with more than 110 vendors.
  • 10 a.m. — The Southglen Fiddlers play.
  • 11 a.m. — Cake cutting to officially mark the opening of outdoor market.
  • 11:15 a.m. —  The Norman Chief Memorial Dancers perform.
  • 12 p.m. —  Fiddle jam to celebrate World and National Fiddle Day.

Firth expects about 110 vendors to be there Saturday but as the season goes on, that number will grow to 130 before it has to be capped due to space constraints.

The market also runs on Wednesdays. The mid-week market is a little smaller, with about 40-50 vendors.

That's a long way from the eight vendors that were there when it all started in 1988, Firth noted.

Everything at the market is made, baked or grown in Manitoba. (CBC/Karen Pauls)

Despite the surge in sellers, the market has always remained true to its Manitoba roots — featuring produce, meat and other products and foods from local producers.

"Everything is made, baked or grown here in Manitoba," Firth said. "We even inspect our vendors to make sure, so you know you're buying Manitoba when you come."

Other special events this season at the market include:

  • 5th annual Canada Day market. Last year, more than 15,000 people celebrated Canada Day at the market with musicians, children's entertainment and fireworks. The day runs from 8 a.m. until dusk.
  • Farmers' Festival: Home Skills for the 21st Century. The Aug. 9 event offers a farmers' market mixed with demos and workshops on skills such as fermenting, pickling, using herbs, understanding heritage potatoes, knife sharpening, and more.
  • Annual outdoor dinner event. Takes place Sept. 7 with a gourmet, sit-down dinner prepared by chef Ben Kramer. Meet the farmers who grew the food.

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